- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Martha Stewart is about to go from sullied domestic goddess to movie of the week.
NBC entertainment President Jeff Zucker announced yesterday that the network is rushing a saga of Mrs. Stewart's various potboilers, cliffhangers, financial travails and saute techniques into a production to be ready by May.
The film would "stir the pot," Mr. Zucker said, and certainly would include ongoing investigations of Mrs. Stewart's dubious Wall Street activities.
This may not be the only Martha movie, if it follows current trends: There are already six different projects taking on Enron's fall, including "The Crooked E" over at CBS.
Is there an actress out there to portray Martha Stewart, perfect homebody and ferocious mogul?
"Oh, of course. Martha's a real American icon. Hollywood is full of women who could take that on," said Robert Ferrell of Ross Lacy, a Los Angeles-based casting agency that has found proper thespians for Fox, MTV and Disney projects.
"Yeah, we'd put out a call for someone wholesome, creative somebody women want to be like," echoed his brother Jacob Ferrell, also a casting agent.
The pair speculated NBC would chronicle all six decades of Mrs. Stewart's life, which has included impoverished childhood, chilly marriage, crabby friends, conniving enemies and legal encounters great and small.
"Which would call for, like, three different actresses," the first Mr. Ferrell reasoned.
"The decision should be creative," his brother said with a sigh. "But once the producers, directors and the network get in on it, it's not so creative."
There will be plenty to work with. Mr. Zucker noted that a script was ready, based on "Martha, Inc.," a biting unauthorized biography by Christopher Byron described by a headline in the Globe tabloid as "Mean Martha Stewart Exposed."
Needless to say, Kmart home of the Martha Stewart line banned the Globe from its stores.
But Mr. Byron, who once surveyed Mrs. Stewart's backside as she worked out on a Stairmaster, was convinced he had the perfect rags-to-riches tale.
"She sure didn't become a billionaire businesswoman by setting a perfect table and clipping dead heads off begonias. Martha got there by steamrolling everybody who got in her way," Mr. Byron told the online magazine Salon.
Miss Stewart continues to have vigorous fans and foes alike.
A recent America Research Group survey found that 20 percent of regular Martha Stewart shoppers said they were less likely to buy her namesake goods again because they felt "betrayed."
Meanwhile, supporters founded the "Save Martha" group, complete with Web site (www.savemartha.com), letter-writing campaign, T-shirts and chef hats. The media have mistreated Miss Stewart, opines site editor Jon Small, because "men don't like it when women make more than they do."
Press vitriol is better suited for "the truly venal the pedophiles, the Enron execs," he added. Still, a "Save Martha" rally in New York last Friday drew only four persons.
But none of that resonates in Japan, where Martha Stewart admiration continues unabated. About $11 million worth of her products sell each month in leading department stores. Martha magazine is now available in Japanese, and plans are afoot to expand into South Korea and Australia.

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